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I will explain today the real meaning and purpose of the Reiki symbols. These are the Level II symbols,  It is best to introduce the symbols gradually as the energy body needs time to adjust to higher vibrations - this is important for your energy body.   


REIKI SYMBOLS: The Origin, Meaning and interpretations  

In your first degree Reiki course, you were told of the story of Reiki development as narrated by Mrs. Takata who brought Reiki to the West from Japan. In it mention is made of Dr. Mikao Usui who received the Reiki formula from the Indian Vedic scriptures in Sanskrit ( he had to learn Sanskrit and Pali for many years in search of this formula, we were told).
 
While not discounting the story, we shall attempt to delve into the real origin of the Reiki symbols and their true meaning as available from modern translations/interpretations of ancient Buddhist and Vedic scriptures. The discussion below should not be considered final or authoritative - there is so much to learn and research yet, and we should always remain open to new ideas and insights from whatever source they may emanate.
 
And so on this note, let us proceed into the origin - Buddhism :  

The original Sutras and the texts were in Sanskrit which is a Scholar's language, while the Buddha ( Gautama Siddharth) spoke a dialect from his birth town in India. India is a country of many languages, and Buddhism travelled from India to Tibet, China, Korea and Japan. It changed languages, interpretations along the way through different cultures and over centuries ( Reiki teachings are over 2500 years old now if you try to date their appearance in Buddhist sutras). Now, again its translation in the West signifies another major change.  
You may already be familiar with Buddhism, but allow me to clarify further the disciplines of Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddism as developed in Tibet, and consequently the development of Tibetan Reiki in earlier times ( as opposed to Traditional Reiki, brought by Mrs. Takata to the West around 1970-1980). The ancient methods of Tibetan Reiki are paradoxically being termed as "Modern", maybe because they are now being re-discovered.  

The foundation of Buddhist teachings lies in the qualities of loving-kindness and compassion (Karuna). Mahayana Buddhism developed in India on these virtues by the first or second century. Its main theme is that everyone can gain enlightenment. An important contribution of Mahayana Buddhism is the concept of Boddhisattva - someone who has achieved Enlightenment but delays entry into Nirvana in order to help everyone else who can achieve Enlightenment with him or her.  

Examples of Boddhisattvas are :

Kwan Yin, known as Kanon in Japan and Tara in Tibet; Gautam Buddha ; Jesus and His mother Mary. Thus, the Boddhisattva is the ideal Mahayana person.  

Vajrayana Buddhism ( or Tantric Buddhism) developed in Tibet from the Mahayana sect. This is a mystic and esoteric aspect of Buddhism and contains ritual, initiations ( attunements), mantras ( symbols), peaceful and wrathful deities, visualizations to control the mind, powerful meditations/practices and exercises and a rich symbolism. Though the Tantrists worship the Buddha as sacred statues and artwork, they seek the Buddha and the Boddhisattvas within their own minds.  

The Reiki formula is from the Mahayana Sutras and the Vajrayana mystical interpretations. The Reiki symbols are the levels of mind that lead to Enlightenment, actually the Path to Enlightment itself to the Buddhist. They are the five elements, five colors and five forms as seen in Vajrayana symbolism.  

Together the symbols are the non-duality of mind and object and the emptiness from ego that achieves Nirvana. Once attained, the formula releases the soul from the wheel of incarnation. The symbols original use was not for healing but spiritual enlightenment - for the purpose of helping others to attain Nirvana - this is the Bodhisattva Path. The Reiki symbols therefore are wisdom-energy-creation, the perfection of the Void, and culminate in liberation.  

Reiki today is different in the West from the tradition that Mikao Usui disovered in the Sutras, but it is vital. Like Buddhism, Reiki fits whatever culture and time it finds itself in, and adapts perfectly well - another of Reiki's miracles.  


I trust the background of the origin and real purpose of the Reiki Symbols is now quite clear to you. Here then are the symbols you must know and later meditate upon. I have divided these into categories to facilitate learning:  

First the Traditional Reiki Symbols :  

1. The Power Symbol
2. The Mental/Emotional Symbol
3. The Distant Healing Symbol
 

Let's proceed to the actual symbols now.
You must learn to draw them well with a golden ink pen, with both your thumbs and with your Reiki fingers of both the hands in the air ( the index and middle finger).